Friday, March 04, 2011

Ken-chan's quilt

Last week I was supposed to help Mrs. Furui sew Ken-chan's quilt together. (The little boy that passed away from heart complications last month.) Mrs. Furui and I had originally made 80 signature blocks to hand out at the kindergarten and our plan was to put those together for his parents. But so many people wanted to be included in the quilt that over the past month Mrs. Furui has made an extra 120 blocks! She said people kept coming and coming and asking if they could be included or if they could take blocks to some group of people that Ken-chan and his family were close to. Mrs. Furui was kept very busy in February.

We also had decided that the sooner the quilt was done, the better, and set a deadline for the end of February. We were going to sew all the blocks together last Thursday but I called in sick. Mrs. Furui ended up doing all the sewing by herself. (As you can see, I have had very little to do with this project.) Okay, THIS week I will help Mrs. Furui, but she had sewn the whole quilt together and it was ready to be sandwiched and tied and bound. THAT I can do. I arranged to go to her house THIS Thursday.

"Tanya, the kindergarten principal and a few of the teachers are going to visit Ken-chan's parents on Friday (today) before they take Ken-chan's ashes to be interred in the family grave. (Someday I'll explain that... It is a Japanese custom.) It really would be nice if we could get the quilt to the family before they go."

Yesterday four of us gathered at Mrs. Furui's house and sandwiched the quilt. One snag. Twelve blocks had disappeared and weren't returned before the deadline. Where they have gone we don't know and whether they have signatures or not, there's no way to check. If and when they ever return with signatures I guess Mrs. Furui will make a complimentary cushion or something...

As for the sandwiching, we debated whether we were going to ask people to tie it and pray over it much like the prayer quilts we've made but with such little time we decided to go ahead and tie it ourselves. Besides, with all the signatures, prayers for Ken-chan's family have been sent throughout the whole month of making.

Signatures? More than signatures! Practically letters! Some people really squeezed a lot into the very small space we had left for signatures. There are children's signatures that were barely legible, parents' signatures telling what Ken-chan meant to them. There were multi-colored signatures, embroidered butterflies, little happy faces. (One child even attached stickers... I don't know how long those are going to hold.)

Anyway, the four of us worked like beavers to tie the quilt and yours truly put the binding on and then we all sat around it and sewed down the binding. Four solid hours of work but Ken-chan's quilt is finished.

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